Rice Owls Club Baseball


Rice sweeps tripleheader from UHD to end 2015 season
April 28, 2015, 12:12 am
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The Rice club baseball team finished the 2015 season strong with three consecutive wins over UHD on Sunday afternoon. Rice alumnus Alex Kendall provided the umpiring services for the entire series from behind the plate. Surprisingly, no Owls were ejected.

Game one featured Oscar Turner in the final starting pitching appearance of his club baseball career. With his number one fan in the crowd, Oscar stymied the Gators with ten strikeouts in a seven inning complete game 5-1 victory. The offense took a while to come around, with the Owls scoring four runs in the later innings to break open what had been a 1-0 game.

In game two, Jake Gildan started on the mound in his Rice club baseball pitching finale, and ended on a high note with a complete game shutout in an 11-0 (5inn) victory. His changeup had the overaggressive Gators guessing all afternoon. At one point, he needed just six pitches to retire six straight batters. The Owls made sure this game was in firm control from the start, scoring six runs in the first inning and cruising to a run-rule victory.

Game three of the hot muggy afternoon featured the long-awaited game debut of the Owls’ Sunday alternate pink jerseys. Mr. Sheriff Jordan Bley’s phone is reportedly ringing off the hook with requests from relatives of the UHD players for their own versions of the stylish jerseys. In a game that marked the final Rice club baseball appearance for six seniors on the team, Brody Weinrich, Ryan Monahan and Jacob Hernandez held the Gators in check on the mound before passing the torch on to the sizable freshman class as Will Bower finished the sweep with a knuckleball-filled seventh in a 9-3 win. The offense continued to roll in game three, as the Owls completed their best offensive season in recent memory with a nine run performance. The game featured many unusual fielding combinations, and provided a fun sendoff for the senior class.

Noteworthy: The Owls finished the regular season at 9-6, finishing one early season loss against LSC-Montgomery short of a potential wild card berth in the District 7 Playoffs. LSC is the at-large bid joining Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, Southeast Missouri St. and Saint Louis in the playoff next weekend…The Owls finished the season with a .353 team batting average, with Chris Thomas leading the way at .556. Jake Gildan led the team on the mound with three wins…Special thanks to the Monahans, who provided the team with great food and drinks, awesome pictures, and a few supporters in the stands regardless of where we were playing for the past three years.



Rice swept by Texas A&M Corps of Cadets
April 19, 2015, 10:06 pm
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Rice lost all three games to defending national champions TAMU CoC, 10-5, 14-3 and 7-2. After jumping out to a 4-0 first inning lead in game 1, little went right for the Owls on the field the rest of the series.

Off the field, many of the Owls were captivated by the numerous cultural opportunities in the booming metropolis of Franklin, Texas, most notably a drive-thru safari and award-winning cuisine around every corner. In a difficult decision, the team chose not to attend the Franklin High School prom on Saturday night.

Noteworthy: With the losses, Rice is effectively eliminated from postseason contention…The Owls will be back in action next weekend to close out the season against UHD…Josh Phipps will be getting a new tooth on May 14th.



‘Hurricane’ Jake Gildan hits home run, TCU forfeits
April 12, 2015, 9:27 pm
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Rice traveled to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to face TCU, winning the three game series two games to one.

In game one, Chris Thomas started on the mound and pitched six strong innings in a tightly contested game, earning the W in a 5-4 Rice win. Chris was also a key piece of the offensive effort, notching three hits. Will Bower logged the save to secure the Rice win in what was a (surprisingly) well-played ballgame between fairly evenly matched teams, reminiscent of the game between Rice and TCU last fall at Wood Wars that resulted in a 4-3 Rice win.

Game two had some historical significance for the Owls before turning sour in an 11-4 loss (5inn, hurricane). Jake Gildan started on the mound, and battled through a bruised push-off foot for three innings in a no-decision. Jake helped himself out at the plate, dropping a three-run bomb to straightaway center field to give the Owls a 4-3 lead in the 4th inning. This was the first home run for the Rice club baseball team since the spring of 2011, before any current members of the team attended Rice. The aftermath of the hurricane left the field in poor shape, and the Horned Frogs were the beneficiaries of several unfortunate bounces and some defensive miscues by the Owls as the game ran out of daylight the next inning.

Game three turned out to be a TCU forfeit, resulting in a 7-0 Rice victory. On Sunday at the hallowed grounds of Z Boaz Park, often confused with Augusta National, the Owls took to perhaps the most intriguing fungo golf course they’ve ever played. For a full nine holes, the Owls battled it out and by the end of the day Oscar Turner reigned supreme.

Rice is back in action next weekend as they face defending DII national champions TAMU Corps of Cadets in Franklin, Tx, for the first time since falling to the Aggies in the 2012 District 7 championship series.



Turner no-hitter highlights Rice sweep over Lamar
February 22, 2015, 10:34 pm
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For a three game series that involved two come-from-behind victories and a walkoff no hitter for the Owls, Rice’s three game sweep over Lamar was actually devoid of much drama at all. In a battle of proud bird species, the Owls proved themselves to be superior to the Cardinals this weekend (sorry Brody).

In game one Chris Thomas was strong on the mound, striking out 10 batters over six innings in a 9-2 Rice win. The Owls offense took advantage of some early Lamar miscues to score seven straight runs after trailing 1-0.

In game two, recently minted President Jake Gildan went six solid innings on the mound, retiring 10 straight batters at one point in an 11-2 Rice win, his fourth straight conference win dating back to last season. Again the Owls easily overcame a 1-0 deficit with a five-run bottom of the first and cruised to the series win.

The game three forecast of 100% chance of rain must have actually been referring to Oscar Turner (fka. Rainbow Warrior), who channeled his inner Henderson Alvarez (thumbs up if you get the reference) in producing the ever-rare walkoff no-hitter (by 10 run rule, but still pretty cool). The Owls completed the sweep with a 10-0 (5 inn) win as Oscar scattered just three walks and zero hits over 5 innings and put his work gloves to use at the plate with 4 rbi.

The Owls had many solid performances at the plate highlighted by Kenan Davis, who reached base in 10 of his 11 plate appearances and scored an incredible 8 runs over the three game series.

Noteworthy: 2015 is Lamar’s first season in the NCBA, and this was their first ever series as a club. Good luck to them moving forward…The Rice series sweep snapped a streak of five straight conference series losses (excepting forfeits) dating back to 2013.



Rice wins one of three against Lonestar DII
February 9, 2015, 4:55 pm
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This past weekend, Rice faced off against LSC Montgomery in their first conference series of the season. The Owls dropped the series two games to one.

In game one, the Owls offense was stymied in an 8-0 loss. Despite the shutout, Rice actually showed some promise at the plate, but had some poor luck with placement, as well as a few baserunning mistakes. Freshman Chris Thomas (spirit animal: dog) started on the mound for the Owls, and after being rudely welcomed to the game by the Lonestar #5 hitter, settled in for the rest of his start.

Game two was a different story, as Rice beat LSC Montgomery 13-5. Like the frequent freight trains running behind the left field fence at Spring Klein Park, the Owls offense was chugging along all afternoon. Jake Gildan started on the mound, and was able to avoid the big inning while pitching with the lead, going 5 steady innings for the win. Brody Weinrich was solid in relief, pitching two innings to finish the game.

The game three rubber match didn’t go the Owls way, as they were stung by the LSC offense in a 17-7 (6 inn.) loss. The Rice offense was again a bright spot and kept the Owls in it for a while, but in the end they succumbed to an ignominious mercy rule loss.

The Owls had many solid hitting performances over the weekend, as Jake Hernandez led the way with 6 hits, 5 runs and 3 stolen bases over the weekend. Kenan Davis, Chris Thomas and Daniel Suzuki all also hit over .500 for the weekend.

Noteworthy: Jake Gildan has been the pitcher of record in the Owls’ last three conference wins dating back to last season. Living legend Zach Satira (’13) was the last other person to win a conference game for the Owls, in the 2013 conference championship series against SFA (aka. the “throw it all” game) … The LSC coach was fascinated to find that Rice freshman Perry Goldstein shared his first name, and expressed this amazement repeatedly throughout game 3 of the series … Many rounds of fungo golf were played, but the winners were not reported to this publication in time for print.



2015 Season Schedule
January 9, 2015, 9:38 pm
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This spring, the Owls will take on a number of old and new rivals in the newly formed District VII-South of the NCBA’s Division II. Each conference series is three games, usually with two games on Saturday and one on Sunday. We will also play a non-conference doubleheader against LSC D1.

Schedule:

February 7-8           @ Lonestar (DII) (Spring, Tx)

February 15             @ Lonestar (DI) (Kingwood, Tx)

February 21-22        Lamar

March 14-15            UHD

April 11-12               @ TCU (Fort Worth, Tx)

April 18-19               @ TAMU Corps of Cadets (College Station, Tx)



Wood Wars 2014 wrap-up
November 2, 2014, 11:03 pm
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The Owls traveled north to the suburbs of Dallas for the annual Wood Wars wood bat tournament in McKinney, Texas this past weekend. With a 16-team field, the tournament had some strong competition as always. Rice faced off against Texas Tech, TCU and Texas State and held its own against them.

In the first game on Friday afternoon, the Owls struggled at the plate against eventual tournament runner-up Texas Tech, and lost 9-0 in a game that was closer than the score would indicate. Freshman Chris Thomas went six innings on the mound in his first game with the team. The Swing-it Hitters Challenge didn’t go much better for the Owls on the scoreboard, but the players in the stands certainly enjoyed the proceedings.

Day two of the tournament was more successful for the Owls. In game two, Rice beat TCU 4-3 behind a solid start on the mound from senior Oscar Turner, and a clutch late-inning performance from freshman Kenan Davis, who tripled and scored the go-ahead run, and closed out the game on the mound.

In game 3, senior Jake Gildan started on the mound against Texas State, and completely dominated the Bobcats in five innings of shutout ball. However, the Owls couldn’t hold their 2-0 lead in the late innings, falling 4-2.

Overall it was a successful weekend for the Owls, and the team’s performance at this tournament gives hope for a strong season in the spring.




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